The Little Match Girl

The Dark of the Year

Light the match.
The only way out is through.

A scrape, a flare,
the flame blue with heat along the bottom edge,
golden near the top,
its heart dark.
‘Lucifers’ would seem miraculous to those
who had to struggle with flint and tinder
when the coals went out,
though to be sure, it might have been that steel
would be harder to come by than flint.

Hope is the province of adults.
Children only know the world as it is,
whether fair or restrictive. A child
beaten for things out of her control
would, perhaps, find it only natural.
How rare for such an one to have any
to whom she could account for love.

Fire consumes, and fire changes,
adds weight to what it does not burn,
adds weight to what is left behind.
Children, so light, might flare up completely
leaving behind only the scars in our souls.

Light the match.
In its dark heart, a fascination,
a vision of the happy past,
or perhaps the future.
Impossible to draw your eyes away.

Hope is the province of adults.
The only way out is through.

December 19, 2009

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